"Most people would rather die than think; in fact, most do so"
Critical is not something that my closest friends would consider me. Today I will contradict that sentiment.
The realities of healthcare reform are still not clear to most Americans. While the factions that have emerged from the each pole from Universal Coverage to Anti-Reform (aka "keep things like they are they are good/comfortable for ME right now") the clarity on either side and even for those who desire a more middle of the road approach has been murky. This morass of confusion has at times been calculated and intentional. More so, it has been the result of many people on Twitter and through various blogs and other social networks and media parroting the sentiments of a faction of people and in some cases a particular person whom they feel is a reflection of who they are.
Human nature is what human nature is. We gravitate towards that which makes us feel safe and protects the values that we have come to know as most beneficial to our survival. However, the caveat to this reality is that things inevitably change. If we are lucky and thoughtful, change can be the precursor to transformation; however, transformation is rare. The result that arises when transformation is necessary but is resisted based on an unconscious reaction to that which is beyond the scope of consciousness, is decline.
The healthcare reform conversation is reflective of the decline of the United States and it will not cease declining until this conversation and people having it transform, starting with a change (if only for a moment).
Changes will need to come in one or two forms. For those who are aware that they are in fact spouting un-truths or half-truths (same thing--see Beware of Half Truths About Healthcare Reform) based purely on self-interest will have to realize that a mind set based on selfishness and motivated primarily by material gain will not be rewarded in the long-term.
Of course, some people are aware that it is the case. They are clear that the material growth of the U.S. is in the process of decline and that while we will potentially/eventually get to a place where suffering is mitigated, riches "beyond belief" will rarely be seen and for that matter, valued like many value them currently.
The rich will stay rich and what we consider the middle class will shift significantly and the gap between all social-economic strata will broaden. Nonetheless, although they have this awareness they are not willing to do what it takes to consider a broader interest beyond themselves. Some of these voices perpetuating a divide of the people (the "socialist healthcare" "killing off seniors" "making you pay for other people who don't want to work" and "all those immigrants bringing down our country" stuff) will experience severe negative consequences to their fortunes and their lives. This mind-set is dying and if you have a dying mind-set you will eventually. . .well, you get the picture.
Now on the other hand, my opinion is that there are droves of people who simply react or parrot the sentiments of others. They liberally react with the "We Are the World" conversation that Universal Healthcare is a must and all people opposed in any fashion are racist, fascist, separatist, selfish humans who don't care about all of those people in need.
Or, conversely they parrot the Rush Limbaugh's, Glenn Beck's, Sean Hannity's, etc. of the world and simply repeat their self-interested rhetoric that is so clearly one-sided that one actually has to intentionally not think to believe that their perspective is balanced or even remotely speaking to the entirety of interests of those that they have influenced to duplicate their misdirection and misinformation.
So, we are stuck between the selfish, parroting, and extremists. Where do we go from here?
First, I think we have to recognize that healthcare reform is about more than just healthcare/health insurance reform. In fact, the topic is simply a microcosm of the dynamics of American society and an opportunity for us to enter into a new era where transformation from an "I" to "We" consciousness is created. I have said and will always say:
"The difference between Illness and Wellness is 'I' and 'We'." and I am not just talking about our physical illness and wellness.
What is at stake is a reflection of the myriad challenges that face us and that we will have to take on together, not divided to ever have a chance at improving. Whether it is education, energy, the environment, healthcare or any other vital issue, we are now at a time that leads us toward evolution or self-destruction. ALL of us are in this space. Extremes of thought, reaction, and rhetoric in either direction will perpetuate the decline.
Second, we can't make this process we are in with healthcare reform about win or loss. If there is win and loss, there is loss--all of us lose. Whether you are affected directly or indirectly, if there are sides and any side is adversely affected by the choices made to the point that their suffering creates greater suffering for others, we all are harmed--the United States is harmed--the world is harmed.
If you are considering dismissing what I am saying because it is uncomfortable, so be it. My intention is simply to state what I see and what I think is inevitable if we do nothing or do less than we are capable of as a very capable United States of greatness.
The discussion we are in now is VERY very big. Very big conversations lead to very big consequences when subsequent actions or non-actions are taken. This time WE choose. We, the People, are the government and our elected officials are extensions of us. WE choose the rise or fall this time by our words and our thoughts. This has always been the case but the quickening of information exchange and the speed of the times exacerbates it.
Third, parrots are some of the most intelligent of animals on the planet. They can be trained, not just to mimic voices and repeat words, but also to speak in context and solve puzzles. The parroting that I am talking about is devoid of real thought and is dominated by emotional reaction, not rational contemplation.
Don't be fooled by a small faction stating small-minded perspectives without thoroughly examining all sides of the situation. Otherwise, you will think others are "drinking the koolaid" while you are actually unaware of the reality that the "others" in fact, are you. Voluntarily parroting incomplete sentiments of manipulation is reflective of how deeply one is being manipulated without awareness. Teach/require yourself to think.
We are a thinking country, it is what brought forth what we have created, the good, the bad, and the ugly. We have stopped thinking deeply, we rather choose to repeat the thoughts of others. It cannot continue, it will not help you, it will not help your family, it will not help our country.
So protect the greatness that we have created in this country. If you must repeat the thoughts of others solely because you are only worried about yourself, let people know. At least we will be clear about your intention.
In the space and place we are in now, the time couldn't be more critical. We absolutely must open our minds, deepen our consideration, and learn the intentions and necessity of transformation. Healthcare reform and its dialog can be a platform for us to make this a reality. Let's create what we truly want to see in the world.
Make it a great day!